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The cream has risen to the top of the MLS power rankings.
The Houston Dynamo and Columbus Crew have been playing some of the best soccer in the league and have made major moves up the standings in recent weeks. Both teams showed how far they have come by both defeating former top dog Chivas USA, which lost the No. 1 spot in the SBI MLS Power Rankings for the first time in more than a month.
The Los Angeles Galaxy's surprising climb up the rankings came to a halt after a home loss to Real Salt Lake, one of the league's worst road teams. Seattle also saw a streak end as the Sounders finally stopped the bleeding and posted their first win in six matches (Though they still haven't beaten anybody but San Jose in the past 11 matches).
One streak that continued was the New York Red Bulls' losing streak, which reached five games as the worst team in the league reached the 10-loss mark with the season after just 15 games. The pressure continues to mount on head coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who just might be regretting not taking one of the handful of job offers from Latin America that came his way in the spring.
Here is how this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings shook out (schedules and outlooks will post later today):
SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 13)
1 (2). Houston Dynamo (8-2-3)
2 (Last week- 1). Chivas USA (8-4-3)
3 (6). Columbus Crew (4-2-7)
4 (5). D.C. United (5-2-7)
5 (7). Seattle Sounders (5-3-5)
6 (3). Chicago Fire (5-3-6)
7 (4). Colorado Rapids (4-2-5)
8 (10). Kansas City Wizards (5-5-4)
9 (8). New England Revolution (4-4-4)
10 (11). Toronto FC (5-5-4)
11 (12). Real Salt Lake (4-6-3)
12 (9). Los Angeles Galaxy (2-2-9)
13 (13). FC Dallas (2-7-4)
14 (14). San Jose Earthquakes (2-8-3)
15 (15). New York Red Bulls (2-10-3)
Here are some thoughts on this week's rankings:
Yes, of course, as soon as I finally buy into the Los Angeles Galaxy they go and lose. The unbeaten run wasn't going to go on forever, but losing at home to Real Salt Lake is pretty disappointing.
My lobbying of Geoff Cameron for MLS defender of the year is in full swing. Wilman Conde has been hurt, Chad Marshall has been inconsistent and Jimmy Conrad has struggled along with a surprisingly shaky KC defense. Cameron has been the best defender on the league's best defense. His combination of size, speed and skill is impressive and I can't see how he doesn't get a Gold Cup call-up.
How good has Richard Mulrooney been since sliding into central midfield for Houston? He clearly hasn't lost much from his days as an All-Star midfielder before moving to right back, and he has made the absence of Ricardo Clark a non-factor. How many teams can do that?
How bad was the Cam Weaver trade for San Jose? Okay, so Weaver wasn't doing much for the Earthquakes, but giving away a bonafide starting striker for a reserve striker and a draft pick, and having that starting striker blow up in his first week, makes you wonder if A) San Jose didn't cut bait too soon on Weaver and B) if San Jose didn't get robbed by the Dynamo. They wouldn't be the first team to be fleeced by Dom Kinnear in a trade.
Give Guillermo Barros Schelotto the MVP trophy now. It's only halfway through the season but no player is more consistently effective and more important to his team than Schelotto. Other players have enjoyed good seasons, such as Brian McBride and Shalrie Joseph, but Schelotto is on another level.
That's all for now. I'll share more thoughts later today. For now, feel free to share your thoughts on the current rankings in the comments section below.